June 24, 2015, approximately 3:30 PM on the Appalachian Trail just east of the Hudson River, I ran with Scott Jurek for several miles. While I am no ultrarunner by any means, I was surprised that his pace allowed me to jog along with him and talk for most of the time. We even walked several hills. The entourage included Knox, Kali, Don (Scott’s old friend and crew member with his wife, Jenny), and a “through hiker” named Karaoke. Knox was doing a full day of 50 miles with Scott. I met Kali at the trailhead and she came to join up with her friend Knox. Don surprised me in the forest while I was waiting for them and I joined him in running south to catch the group. Don was extremely gracious in hooking me into the group.
I had several observations. First, with a bad knee going into it, I was unsure if I could keep up or run at all. Once Scott appeared (to some high “hoo-hoo’s” that he and Don communicated with) I didn’t even think and joined right in. In fact, the light jog that he was on was off-putting. I was waiting for him to take off. Actually we walked more than I expected. You can’t hear him but I asked him if he “went down” and he said yes, several times, even with the poles. Also what got my attention was Jenny’s influence on the flow. In fact, she told me she is all about “moving him north”.
As I said to him and her, this is monumental, along the lines of Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak or Michael Jordan’ scoring records. Yes, it is all done on the honor system but I feel privileged thatI got a glimpse.
Much of what I know and have learned in the team building field can be found in this incredible endeavor. Scott is the leader but he listens intently to his crew as they all adapt to the changing environment and the toll the miles take on him.